America’s finest city is also one of the best places for professional networking. Whether you’re starting a new business, looking for a new career, or simply looking to mingle with like-minded people, San Diego has it all.
When I’m out and about trying to improve my San Diego SEO business, I enlist as many of the city’s networking resources as possible.
Here are my favorite ways of networking locally.
Take a glance at LinkedIn and Meetup, and you’ll find a number of local groups holding events throughout the month. Here are my favorite networking groups in San Diego.
Meetup groups are a fantastic way to make connections. The San Diego Young Entrepreneur Network has 5,000+ active members who schedule networking events locally throughout the year.
You’ll meet business owners in their 20’s and 30’s who are at all different stages in their business. From people who are working through the initial startup phases of their business, to founders and CEOs of more established small businesses, there’s a ton of wisdom to draw from.
Another great place for San Diego business networking comes by way of Networking After Work. This organization holds monthly events in more than 85 cities across the U.S. and is a nice way to make new contacts while hanging out in a relaxed setting.
Most events are held in a large bar or club in Downtown San Diego, and they have a $15 or $20 entry fee. In some cases, you’ll receive a drink ticket that covers your first beverage.
Branding themselves as “a large group of young writers, designers, creators, innovators and straight up cool people connecting through social, educational and hands-on marketing and advertising industry experiences,” the AD2 is a friendly organization that encourages people to come together and exchange business ideas.
Their meetup locations range from co-working spaces to special venues. They hold an annual holiday event at a different downtown venue each year—2017’s was held at Bassmnt.
I’ve made some great connections here, including a client who I’ve been white labeling my SEO services for since last August.
If you’re working remotely, a co-working space can be a great environment for productivity. San Diego is the epicenter for them, with options everywhere.
My favorite is Downtown Works on B St. They even have a beer tap!
Co-working spaces aren’t cheap, but they are a good way to meet similar business people in their natural habitat.
Note: It can be tricky to focus while at a coworking space. Make sure you are making yourself distraction-proof by bringing headphones to drown out the unwanted chatter.
Whatever avenue you choose for making strong business connections, just make sure not to waste your most valuable asset—time. This is why I’m typically against networking at cafes or coffee shops. It’s fine if you enjoy working there, but don’t expect to land top-notch clients at your local Starbucks. People aren’t there specifically for business purposes, even if they’re working on a laptop. Most people go to coffee shops to escape the standard “office environment,” and they usually don’t like being approached in that space.